Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission met in Vancouver June 20-22


Click to display full size or right-click to save to your device.

News release

Contact: Commission Office, 360-902-2267

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission held committee meetings, approved land transactions, retained the state classification status of bald eagles and peregrine falcons, and discussed proposed changes to cougar hunting seasons during a meeting in Vancouver on June 20-22.

The meeting began Thursday, June 20 with committee meetings. The Big Tent Committee received an update on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) communications and public engagement work unit and reviewed public comment on the draft Best Available Science Policy (PDF). WDFW staff briefed the Habitat Committee on a riparian mapping project and provided an overview of agency-owned and managed lands. 

The Wildlife Committee discussed rule making regarding beaver relocation and habitat management, addressed next steps to codify an existing emergency rule related to trapping, and heard an update on the Department’s Cougar Conflict Resolution Team.

During a virtual meeting June 14, the Fish Committee reviewed a policy on Grays Harbor salmon management and received updates on Columbia River American shad and the Resident Native Trout Harvest Management Policy.

The full Commission meeting began Friday, June 21 with an open public input opportunity followed by reports from WDFW Director Kelly Susewind and Southwest Washington Regional Director Rian Sallee. The Commission delegated four public petition decisions to the director and received a briefing on the Resilient Columbia Basin Agreement between Washington, Oregon, four treaty tribes, and the federal government concerning hydropower operations and mitigation in the Columbia River.

In the afternoon, the Commission heard updates on draft proposals for agency-request legislation and the 2025-27 operating and capital budgets that will be considered during the 2025 legislative session. Additionally, the Commission approved land transactions for the Hunter Mountain North Project, Chesaw Inholding Addition, and North Willapa Bay and Estuaries Shoreline Project.

The Commission then received briefings on a recreation strategy for WDFW-managed lands and draft periodic status reviews for bald eagles and peregrine falcons. Following public comment, the Commission decided to maintain the birds’ Washington conservation status as successfully recovered and remain in a protected wildlife status.

To conclude Friday’s meeting, the Commission heard a WDFW staff report and heard a public hearing on proposed changes to cougar hunting seasons. The Commission is expected to make a decision on the proposed changes during a scheduled virtual meeting July 19.

The Commission reconvened Saturday, June 22 with an open public input opportunity followed by a WDFW staff report and discussion on the state listing status of gray wolves. During a virtual meeting July 19, the Commission is scheduled to make a decision on the staff recommendation to reclassify gray wolves from endangered to sensitive status in Washington. The Commission then discussed several administrative processes before moving to executive session at the end of the day’s agenda.

The meeting was recorded and is available on the Commission webpage for the public to watch at their convenience.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for WDFW. WDFW works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-885-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.